Sergeant John David Worthington
75 1/1st South Notts. Hussars
445042 Labour Corps
281307 Chinese Labour Corps, 81st Company

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Photo (1896) L to R: Harry, Elizabeth (mother), George (in arms), John David (standing), John (father) and Daniel. Courtesy The Worthington Family.

John David Worthington was born in 1878 in Arnold, Nottingham son of John Worthington, a farmer from Arnold and Elizabeth (nee Fox) from Codnor Park. In 1881 the family was living at Arnold but by 1887 had moved to Jacksdale, living at Pye Hill in 1891 and in 1901 at Jacksdale.  John had three younger brothers Frederick Harry, Daniel and George.

In 1900 John married Martha Ann Weston from Derby and they initially lived at Worthington’s Farm, Church Hill, Jacksdale (which used to be situated opposite St. Mary’s Church, Westwood) with John’s parents but by 1911 had moved to Sedgwick Street with their four children, Frederick Ernest, Ethel May and twins John George and Jessica Elizabeth.

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Photo (1916) L to R Back Row: Martha (John David’s wife), Ethel May (his daughter), John Worthington (his father), John David (hands in pockets), Elizabeth (his mother), Frederick (his son), George (his brother) and David (his uncle). Front Row: ‘Jessie’ and ‘Jack’ (his twin children), Harold and Daniel (his brother).

On 7th April 1908 John enlisted with the 1/1st Notts Hussars which had been created in 1908 as a Territorial Force which was a volunteer reserve and part of the British Army until 1920, when it became part of the Territorial Army. When he attested John’s height was given as 5’6″, hair light brown, eyes grey and complexion fair. He took the oath and swore true and faithful allegiance to King Edward VII. The Hussars were devised to be a home defence force and were part of the Notts & Derbys Mounted Brigade.  John signed up for four years and agreed to be available for training and drills for between 8 to 18 days every year, for which there would be a £5 fine for non attendance. Training could be extended to a maximum of 30 days in any one year but only by order of the council. In the case of imminent national danger or other such emergency John could have been called up to be embodied but would only be asked to serve for a maximum of 12 months if his army service was due to expire. He would be liable to serve at any place within the U.K. but only overseas if he volunteered to do so. When WW1 later broke out, only 10% of territorials actually volunteered to serve overseas.

John signed up for 4 years in 1908 being promoted to Serjeant (old spelling of sergeant) on 1st May 1910. He attended annual training drills at Clifton, Nottingham and also at Salisbury, Wiltshire. In 1911 Frank Lowe of New Westwood also joined the Hussars, service number 707 and Serjeant Worthington acted as witness.  Frank Lowe was to make rank of Corporal and is also listed on the Jacksdale War Memorial as having served.

John continued to renew his service for one year at a time, in 1912, 1913 and also on 6th April 1914. It seems that John did volunteer for overseas service as he was part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, disembarking at Alexandria, Egypt on 26th May 1915 and on 3rd Feb 1916 he embarked for Salonika. He served overseas for 1 year and 44 days, returning home to England on 5th May 1916. On 31st May 1916 he was discharged from the Army due to the termination of his period of engagement. It was in 1916 that the 1/1st was broken up. Cpl Frank Lowe also served with the M.E.F. in Egypt and was also discharged from the service in 1916.

The Absent Voters Roll 1918/1919 states that John is serving with the 81st Company, Chinese Labour Corps and his Medal Rolls Index Card confirms he was Sergeant 445042 Labour Corps. John was a recipient of the 1914-15 Star, the British War and Victory Medals.

John’s mother Elizabeth died in 1941 aged 85 and the Nottingham Evening Post reported as follows:- ‘A Jacksdale Worthy. Taught Herself Piano When Over 70. For many years prominent in farming circles in the county, Mrs. Elizabeth Worthington, of Laburnum House, Jacksdale, passed away yesterday at the age of 85. She and her husband farmed in the Jacksdale district for over 40 years, and were at Dale Farm for the major part of this period. Retaining her faculties to an exceptional degree, Mrs. Worthington taught herself to play the piano when over 70 years old. Previously, when over 60, she had taken up ambulance work, winning several St. John Ambulance Association awards. She served as a volunteer nurse in the last war, for which she received a medal. Mrs. Worthington and her husband ran a service of horse-drawn vehicles between Jacksdale and Ripley until they were superseded by motor buses, and Mrs. Worthington was also a milk retailer in the district for over 40 years.’
1941 January 15th. Notts. Evening Post.

John and his wife Martha later moved to Laverick Road, Jacksdale. Martha died in 1949 aged 70 and John died in 1959 aged 81, they are both buried at Westwood, St. Mary’s. His daughter Ethel May Worthington continued to live in the family home at Laverick Road until her death in 1977.